Microwaves are a staple in many homes, and they use electricity to cook food. While microwaves can be used on any circuit (as long as the circuit is properly sized), there are some circuits that will work better than others depending on how much power you need for your microwave. For example, if you have a 15-amp breaker panel at home and would like to use your microwave with 700 watts of power, it’s best to use an outlet from the 20-amp breaker panel instead – then the other outlets will still be available for use! So how many amps does a microwave typically require? And what size circuit do I need for it?
A typical 750-watt microwave will require a 20 amp circuit. If you are using your microwave for more than one continuous hour, it is best to go up with the size of your breaker panel or install an additional dedicated outlet. In general, most microwaves have 700 watts and use about 1100 kWh per year at full power (depending on how much food they cook). They also draw 12 amps when cooking/heating – so that would be a 240 volt 15 amp breaker panel for those figures!
Some microwaves may not list their Wattage Rating but will provide information in Amps instead.
To measure this, multiply Volts by Watts then divide by 1000:
240 volts x 0.700 kilowatt = 150 amps
150/1000 = 0.15 Amps
A 15 amp circuit would be sufficient for use with a typical 750-watt microwave oven, but not an 1100 kWh per year one. For more information on how to calculate power consumption of appliances, see this article: How much electricity does my appliance use? Wattage and Power Ratings Explained – Appliance Guide.
If you are using your microwave for short periods or intermittently then it can function just fine on a lower breaker size and smaller outlet! Just make sure that the total load coming from other items plugged into the same outlet is less than what the breaker rating says. If everything has 1650 watts (no microwaves) then a 20 amp circuit should work.
There are plenty of people out there who say that microwaves need to be on a 20 amp circuit, but from what I’ve read online you only need a 15 amp or higher if you’re using it for longer periods. If something else is plugged into the same outlet as your microwave then make sure its total load does not exceed the breaker rating (15 amps in this case) and everything should work just fine!
If your home has an older electrical system with two hot wires supplying power to outlets, branches must have at least one neutral wire before they can supply power. The branch supplies 120 volts AC to each duplex receptacle found downstream within the branch extension cord reach. This includes 240-volt appliances such as electric ovens, range, clothes dryers, and heating pads.”
In conclusion, you can use a microwave on a 15 amp circuit. If something else is plugged into the same outlet as your microwave then make sure its total load does not exceed the breaker rating (15 amps in this case) and everything should work just fine!
The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that circuits carrying 15 amps or less require no more than a 20-ampere breaker. “15 amp” is the rating of one wire and not a circuit, so you can use 220 volts per branch with up to four duplex receptacles found downstream within it.” In conclusion, as long as your appliances are not putting out more power than the circuit capacity then everything should work just fine! If something else is plugged into the same outlet as your microwave then make sure its total load does not exceed the breaker rating (15 amps in this case) and everything should work just fine!